TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been hailed by Forbes Magazine as one of the seven female heads of state who have outperformed their male counterparts in handling the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in their respective countries.
“Among the first and the fastest moves was Tsai Ing-wen’s [government]” in the face of the virus threats, wrote Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a contributor to the financial magazine. “Back in January, at the first sign of a new illness, [Tsai] introduced 124 measures to block the spread, without having to resort to the lockdowns that have become common elsewhere.”
Tsai was named amongst other leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir as those who have demonstrated strong female leadership in times of a global pandemic.
The proactive measures, technical aid, and transparent governance implemented by the Taiwanese government to combat the coronavirus have been praised by several foreign news outlets as keys to successfully stemming the spread of the virus in the country. CNN recently reported that Taiwan's coronavirus response was among the best globally.
The island nation, despite its proximity to and frequent exchanges with China, has recorded less than 400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, with only six deaths. The risk of a community outbreak of the virus in Taiwan is low, as most confirmed cases are imported, declared Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Monday (April 13), adding that strict preventive measures will not, however, be relaxed until a vaccine is available.
The magazine’s contributor also mentioned that the Taiwanese government has already sent 10 million surgical masks to the U.S. and Europe to help fight against the coronavirus, which has infected almost two million people worldwide and killed nearly 120,000 as of Tuesday (April 14). The country has announced the second round of mask donations, which would see six million masks shipped to Latin America, Southeast Asia, northern Europe, and the U.S.